Software Piracy

Can the government help stop the drain on profits?


The good news is that while the United States has lost its competitive edge in many industries, it remains the dominant force in computer software; U.S. companies supply up to 80 percent of the programs used around the world. The bad news is that software can be easily copied. U.S. companies say they are losing more than $2 billion a year from software pirated in the United States -- and five times as much from overseas software theft. The culprits include software counterfeiters and legitimate businesses and individuals who use illegally copied programs. The huge losses of revenues have prompted industry groups, the FBI and the U.S. government to step up efforts to control piracy -- a move that could bolster the nation's trade balance.

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